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Darrell Bourque 

Poet Darrell Bourque says that 'Good poetry likes to travel, and it travels well." As Louisiana's new poet laureate, Bourque is taking poetry on the road and giving readings around the state, including this week's visit to the Louisiana Humanities Center. Bourque strives to increase the accessibility of poetry for readers and pushes for depth from writers. 'Experiences always begin in the merely personal. It's important and valid, but if someone's going to make art, they have to move beyond that," Bourque says. He describes this necessary leap as moving from the merely personal to the 'deeply personal." When reading his poetry in communities throughout the state, he attempts to relate his work to particular sites and audiences, but also to find greater human truths. 'Being a poet is about articulating our humanness, wherever we find it " in the family, in our public life, in our history, in love, in conflict, in harmony with the earth and its creatures. Any place humans can inhabit, poetry wants to inhabit." In his new position, Bourque intends to conduct readings and workshops in schools all over Louisiana, encouraging schools to make poetry an important part of their curriculums. Having worked as a poet, professor and community organizer, he's well suited to the task of advocating for literature. He has directed the Deep South Writer's Conference and served as project director for Significant Voices, a reading series featuring poetry by young Louisianan African-American writers. Bourque is professor emeritus at University of Louisiana at Lafayette and conducts workshops and retreats for the Acadiana chapter of the National Writing Project. He serves on the advisory board for the National Association of Humanities Foundation. The reading will include selections from of his published works including his five books. Free admission. " Kate Mooney

7 p.m. Wed., Jan. 16

Louisiana Humanities Center, Turners Hall, 938 Lafayette St., 620-2632; www.leh.org

click to enlarge TERRI FENSEL
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